Apple reverses course, reinstates Epic Games’ developer account

One day after banning Epic Games’ iOS developer account, Apple has reinstated the game publisher and its third-party App Store ambitions.

Following Apple and Epic’s lengthy legal battle over the tech giant’s allegedly uncompetitive App Store policies, Apple banned the game developer’s account on March 6. In a letter shared by Epic, the tech giant called the publisher “verifiably untrustworthy.”

This move came one day before the European Union’s Digital Markets Act took effect. The new legislation requires Apple to allow users access to third-party app stores on iOS in the E.U.. Epic Games sought to open up their own storefront on iOS under this new system. This would allow Fortnite to return to iOS after it was banned in 2020.

Apple likely reversed course due to potential fines and additional scrutiny from legislators. European Commissioner Thierry Breton took credit for Apple backtracking.

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Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney declared victory following Apple’s decision. “The DMA went through its first major challenge with Apple banning Epic Games Sweden from competing with the App Store, and the DMA just had its first major victory,” said Sweeney. “Following a swift inquiry by the European Commission, Apple notified the Commission and Epic that it would relent and restore our access to bring back Fortnite and launch Epic Games Store in Europe under the DMA law.”

Epic Games is serving as a high profile test case for the E.U.’s new status quo. The region’s muscular stance quickly changed Apple’s policy decision.

Epic Games’ update on the matter is available below.

Apple has told us and committed to the European Commission that they will reinstate our developer account. This sends a strong signal to developers that the European Commission will act swiftly to enforce the Digital Markets Act and hold gatekeepers accountable. We are moving forward as planned to launch the Epic Games Store and bring Fortnite back to iOS in Europe. Onward!

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